Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate voted Wednesday night to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers after discovering a way to bypass the chamber's missing Democrats.The Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader issued the following statement (NBC 15, via Uncoverage):
All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker's so-called "budget repair bill" - a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall.
The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But
Republicans on Wednesday split from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, which spends no money, and a special conference committee of state lawmakers approved the bill a short time later.
“Before the election, the Democrats promised “adult leadership” in Madison. Then a month and a half into session, the Senate Democrats fled the state instead of doing their job.Democrat Senator Mark Miller whined that the GOP "conspired to take government away from the people." Nonsense! It was him and his party, who, in true liberal Democrat fashion, played games and sided with one group of people (unions) against the taxpayers of the state.
“In doing so, they have tarnished the very institution of the Wisconsin state Senate. This is unacceptable.
“This afternoon, following a week and a half of line-by-line negotiation, Sen. Miller sent me a letter that offered three options: 1) keep collective bargaining as is with no
changes, 2) take our counter-offer, which would keep collective bargaining as is with no changes, 3) or stop talking altogether.
“With that letter, I realized that we’re dealing with someone who is stalling indefinitely, and doesn’t have a plan or an intention to return. His idea of compromise is “give me everything I want,” and the only negotiating he’s doing is through the media.
“Enough is enough.
“The people of Wisconsin elected us to do a job. They elected us to stand up to the broken status quo, stop the constant expansion of government, balance the budget, create jobs and improve the economy. The longer the Democrats keep up this childish stunt, the longer the majority can’t act on our agenda.
“Tonight, the Senate will be passing the items in the budget repair bill that we can, with the 19 members who actually DO show up and do their jobs. Those items include the long-overdue reform of collective bargaining needed to help local governments absorb these budget cuts, and the 12 percent health care premium and 5 percent pension contribution.
“We have confirmed with the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the Legislative Council and the Legislative Reference Bureau that every item in tonight’s bill follows the letter of the law.
“The people of Wisconsin elected us to come to Madison and do a job. Just because the Senate Democrats won’t do theirs, doesn’t mean we won’t do ours.”
Democracy isn't played in a hotel room in another state, Senator! So, go cry in your beer with the other 13 Dems at the Ramada Inn bar.